USAF deploys F-22 Raptors to RAF Lakenheath in UK
The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed an undisclosed number of fifth-generation, multirole fighter F-22 Raptors to Royal Air Force (RAF) Base in Lakenheath, England, UK.
The F-22s assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft until May.
US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander general Frank Gorenc said: "This F-22 training deployment is the perfect opportunity for these advanced aircraft to train alongside other USAF aircraft, joint partners and Nato allies.
"It's important we test our infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, and the talented Airmen and allies who will host these aircraft in Europe.
"This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security."
The aircraft will also forward deploy from the UK to Nato bases.
The deployment is believed to be aimed at maximising training opportunities and affirming commitments to Nato allies.
In February, the USAF deployed four F-22 Raptors to South Korea to demonstrate the alliance's air combat capabilities in response to a recent satellite launch by North Korea.
Powered by two F119-100 Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines, the F-22 Raptor is a, supersonic, tactical dual fighter jet, designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but can also be configured to conduct ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence missions.
Image: F-22 Raptors from the 95th Fighter Squadron conduct air-to-air training with F-15E Strike Eagles from the 494th Fighter Squadron. Photo: courtesy of Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew.